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Empty house may cost more to insure

Sellers get surprise as home languishes on market

Homebuyers are finding tougher guidelines and higher premiums from insurance carriers, and there certainly aren't any bargains for sellers who need to move or would simply like a change of scenery. In a recent case, owners decided to sell a three-bedroom, three-bath primary residence and move into a nearby rental property they owned that better fit their needs. The primary residence, on a gorgeous acre with wonderful landscaping and a couple of ponds, demanded more time and maintenance than the owners had to give. "We put it on the market in February and the place still hasn't sold," said Pat Hanrahan, who admits not all families are devoted gardeners with the time and interest to maintain such a place. "We were just going to continue to leave it vacant and try to sell it, until we found out how much it would cost to insure the place." The Hanrahans had an excellent relationship with their insurance carrier and had a flawless history with the two homes, ...